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Rosemary Boske 3, Us 2, Nick 2, Dan Lowry 2, Mar 1, California Civil 1, Bathrooms 1, California 1, Us Do 1, Sro Families United 1, Johnson 1, Mccarthy 1, Carla 1, Josh Vining 1, Walker 1, Carla Johnson 1, Nick Pagalato 1, The City 1,
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  SFGTV    [untitled]  

    December 19, 2012
    11:00 - 11:30pm PST  

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bars in total common use water closets and bathing facilities; 3, amending section 1002 to include as a substandard housing condition the failure to provide a usable telephone jack and telephone wiring as required by the california civil code and, 4, making environmental findings, legislative findings and findings pursuant to california health and safety code section 17958.5. >> good morning, commissioners, good to see you all, nick pagalato on behalf of commissioner mar. >> in 2001 commissioner mar called for a hearing on issues affecting our most vulnerable residents. because this sector
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of our community is growing not just city-wide but specifically in residential hotels we thought it was timely to try to address some of the challenges that these residents face. we have been working very closely with a group of stake holders, particularly sro activists, the mission sro collaborative, the city sro collaborative, sro families united and the senior action network. they came together and produced a report in 2011 that outlined many of the issues that both seniors and people with disabilities are facing in residential hotels. it was presented to us in this hearing and along with a report, they produced a set of concrete recommendations for mitigating problems that this community faces. supervisor mar, along with co-sponsor to this legislation, committed to help implement these recommendations and this
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legislation is the first step in making sure that that promise is kept. this legislation is co-sponsored by supervisor olague and board president khu. it's being brought frd to your approval after several rounds in some of the bic subcommittees we've been working through some of the technical challenges that have come out after its introduction. first of all i'd like to thank a couple people, first of all rosemary boske who has been tremendously helpful and a tremendous leader, as she always is, when dealing with tenant issues in our xhuept. she has helped us overcome some of the technical problems we faced. also carla johnson in the mayor's office of disability has been very general yus with her time and has been very helpful in helping us focus this
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legislation and not only make it helpful to sro tenants but also implementable and cost effective for owners. really it's a very straightforward proposition that we're presenting to you. it's two recommendations, one that there be working phone jacks in sro tenants' rooms. the necessity for that is very clear. we need to be able to have communication with the outside world, any of us do, but in particular people who have mobility issues, seniors who rely on care givers who may have emergencies that come up on a more regular basis than other residents need to be able to communicate with the outside world. it's absolutely critical that all of these rooms have working phone jacks. the second issue is to put grab bars in common bathrooms. again, a very commonsense idea. there are countless accidents that happen in sro's as a result of people slipping and
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falling in bathtubs. for the most part these could be prevented with the use of grab bars. this legislation is presenting that idea in a way that is very straightforward, that's implementable and also importantly that's going to be cost effective for sro operators. what we are presenting to you right now is still a work in progress. as i have said, we are working through some of the technical issues around the installation of the grab bars in particular. we have miss johnson here and rosemary boske who are going to be able to talk through some of the technical issues that we hope we've been able to come up with answers for and we are going to take this legislation, once it's in its most advanced stage, out to the owner community to make sure we have buy-in. one important facet that we're going to be baking into this legislation which will become effective 30 days after its passage is that notices of violation won't be issued for the first 6 months because we
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want to be sure operators have the time not just to become aware of the installation and install the bars but to do it in the right way. we're going to be creating a technical assistance manual with the help of the mayor's office on disability that will be distributed to building operators to help them do the job in the right way. so thank you for this opportunity, we think it's a very straightforward and commonsense piece of legislation and we hope to get your support. thank you very much. i will now turn it over to rosemary boske >> thank you, nick. >> thank you, nick. members of the commission, one of the things i want you to be aware of as far as the history of this is that one of the things that came out in the reports from the sro collaborative, which is funded by the department of building inspection, is that the city itself takes recently homeless
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individuals, individuals who are barely ambulatory, and sends them to sro's. we have individuals in these buildings that are aging in place and becoming seniors. i will tell you that the first and most primary xlaipblt that the department of building inspection gets regarding a residential hotel has to do with the bathrooms, the common bathrooms. they are highly problematic as far as the maintenance of them and to make sure that they are available for the residents. typically the code in chapter 5 indicates you have to have a minimum of two of these common bathrooms per floor, given the range of guest rooms. the ordinance proposes retroactively that 6 months after the date of adoption the ordinance will go into effect, that will give us time to do the outreach we plan to do to the property owners in addition
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to talking to them in the sro task force, of which i am a chair, but we envision doing a direct mailing to all the property owners that would have a copy of the ordinance, a technical manual that would give them advice on how to install the grab bars in the most efficient and soft-saving manner. that's something the mayor's office and carla will talk about a little bit more. she has great expertise in this area considering she's been addressing some of these same issues in the nonprofit residential hotels seeing the types of framing available to permanently attach these grab bars so they can take 250 pounds of force. so that's the grab bar issue. with respect to the phone jack issue, he essentially the legislation before you is
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codifying the legislation. the cheapest cell phone for them to be would be 30 to 50 dollars a month, and that is not affordable for most people who call a physician, et cetera. if they get the life line situation and they go through that process with a land line it's anywhere between maybe 10 to 15 dollars a month and i'm sure josh and others when they get up here, they'll be able to talk about that. that's why the phone jack legislation is in the ordinance codifying state law. how do we implement that? the way that will be implemented, because the phone jack could be there, we don't know if it's live until the occupant of that unit has gotten a contract with a vendor
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for service. in that case if they call dbi and say i don't have a working phone jack, we're going to come out and look at it and if it's not working or not there, we will issue a notice of violation. with respect to the bathrooms, 6 months after the adoption -- and this will be the same thing for the phone jack -- if the grab bars are not there and they're not put in with permits and they are not properly secured, then we will write a notice of violation. the package that will go out 6 months before right after the adoption of this, if it gets adopted, will have all the information for those property owners so they will know how to install it, what information to attach to the building permit. in discussions with director hue, he has indicated plans will not be necessary but using this technical manual and sending this out from a
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technical standpoint will help owners select the installation most appropriate for their particular building. this has gone twice to the accessibility subcommittee, we believe the language is workable, it defines where the criteria is going to come from as far as the height, the length, the gripable surface, the strength of the grab bars but it also cites chapters 11a and 11b in the building code but it also has language in there to allow for a case by case review given the configurations of the existing toilet rooms or the bathrooms. we're dealing with buildings that are very old in nature and you're going to have all different types of configure races. we believe the packages
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we will send out will allow them to be installed efficiently in a cost way that will not be prohibitive to the property owner and, as i said, we will be doing a large amount of outreach along with our sro collaborative partners and other partners to get this information out before we entertain any code enforcement. so, with that, i would like to introduce carla, see if she has anything she would like to go into. there was a lot of discussion about the application of this. she's been absolutely critical in this process. >> good morning, president mccarthy and commissioners, it's a pleasure to have the opportunity to speak to you today. i really want to strongly lend my support for your consideration of this legislation. i think that the senior and disability action and the sro collaborative group have done a really fine job of documenting the reason why this
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is so necessary, why it's so necessary from a safety perspective to allow people to live and to age gracefully in their housing. our office has a lot of experience with these types of hotels. because we are the city's overall ada coordinator, we actually do the plan check and the field inspection for the renovations of the publicly funded sro units and we have the opportunity to make those units adaptable and accessible for people with disabilities. but the privately sro units are a big gap in our housing for having access and resource for the people who live there. we have offered to provide our technical assistance to this effort in order to make the implementation as simple and cost effective and effective as possible. through the development of a technical assistance manual that will include not only photographs but also diagrams
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that really accurately match the conditions that we see out in these sro's where the bathrooms are much smaller than what we would build today under a fully accessible unit, and the rooms are already finished. they have the tile on the walls, they have the plaster and the sheetrock and such, and that means that as an existing construction we don't necessarily have the option to open up the walls the way that we would if we were doing a full renovation. so we have some simple solutions as to how you can make these grab bars structurally sound by putting applications on top of the surfaces, whether that is putting a piece of 1 by lumber that spans the stud framing and is securely attached that the grab bars can be attached to, or when you get into the wet areas like the shower and the tub, putting stainless steel
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plates across the wall surface so the grab bars can be securely attached. so the technical assistance manual would not only lay out all of the code compliant requirements for diameter, spacing on the wall, length, strength and height and those details but even also provide very specific solutions for those smaller bathrooms to recommend that maybe a vertical grab bar is the right solution for a very, very small water closet instead of trying to install a 3-foot horizontal grab bar. so by developing a technical assistance manual, the permit applicant, the hotel owner, will be able to select the installation based upon the different options that we provide and that should make the permitting a little more simple for the building department because then the plan checker can just say, oh, you are going to use option 2b
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and everyone will be able to reference what 2b means. so we remain committed to supporting the building department should you choose to implement this legislation and we sincerely hope that you take that recommendation to heart. thank you. i am available to answer any questions. i know we have a lot of technical people on the commission and we can talk through the details. >> commissioner mar. >> first of all i think this legislation is long overdue and i think it's fairly straightforward. i do have more of a concern about the shower grab bar situation. i was wondering, is part of the process that's not finished in terms of the technical expertise also working with our building inspection site? because i feel like having been in some of the sro's, there are problems with the shower stalls and some of them probably, you
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know, are going to have a difficult time anchoring to something real. and that's my main concern, that if they put in grab bars it's not cosmetic. if somebody grabs them they are not going to have a bunch of tile or the wall fall on them, which would even be worse. i want to be sure that the building inspection side is also involved. so the case by case thing, whenever i see that, it's a little worrysome in some ways unless the specifications are very clear from a mechanical point of view, that these are real grab bars. they are going to be anchored and again it's case by case, but i feel that even if our inspectors go in and they see a shower stall that needs, needs to have some work done on the walls, that should be done. that's how i feel. i feel that that should be done so when
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those bars are put in that it is really a safety . the safety bar should be done. i want to be sure the showers themselves are safe. >> commissioner walker. >> thank you for coming and thank you community outreach folks for this long -- i know i've sat in a couple of the meetings to help prioritize some of the issues. this is a great first step. i think that to the point commissioner mar made, i have also been, seen some of the bathrooms and quite frankly this is probably the least of the issues as far as maintenance and i think it might actually be a good opportunity to improve conditions more broadly, to actually have this as a first
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step to go in and if there is not a place to anchor it, then that's a problem that needs to be fixed. i think this is a wonderful first step. i know there's a lot of other issues that cape up out of the meetings and trying to increase habitability of residential hotels. does that mean that some showers or bathing areas might not have to put them in? does it mean there will be x amount per floor that have to have it and maybe some of them don't?
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i mean, did you guys good into more details about that? >> we did. i just want to say, that, that i also share your concern about a safe installation. we wouldn't want to give any false assurances to somebody that they are holding something that could come off the wall. during the inspection process i have pulled grab bars off the wall because part of my test is really a load test. i apply quite a bit of force. i will work with the inspectors how to inspect those. going back to the original statement, if we were to describe a code-complying grab bar installation, what you would have to have is a water closet or a toilet facility that has an adjacent wall that extends at least two feet
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beyond the leading edge of the water closet fixture so that you could install a 42-inch bar on the side and then the room itself would need to be at least 3 feet wide so you could put a 36-inch bar at the back. and it is our experience that many of these rooms are quite smaller than that and what we wanted to do was leave the flexibility to install the most crab bar they could fit given the constraints of the existing space. and when we talk about the shower installation, in showers there are, again, a very prescribetive outline of like an l-shaped bar in order to be code compliant. but we know whether it's for waterproofing reasons or even just space limitations, sometimes a vertical grab bar is the best solution to give somebody to hold on to and still be able to
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fit the grab bar in. that's why the flexibility is there. each floor plan has to be analyzed independently but we'll see repeating floor plans based on how these units are designed. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. i appreciate this, particularly around the grab bars with the aging nature of our populations. is there any sense of the range of costs for the sro owners and providers? in the previous presentation there was some means for assistance if that became expensive. are you working on that? >> it's a very good question. i am a former general building contractor but my prices are way out of date and i would probably recommend that we talk to he people doing the
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installations. the unit itself, the grab bar, runs between $25 and $50 apiece. if you add on to that some heavy gauge sheetmetal as one of the methods for mounting, that's another $30 to $60, depending on the length. so you are looking at 30 plus 30, maybe a range of $60 to $120 for the materials for each grab bar, then the installation goes on top of that. installation, you know, times can vary. there can be a very simple installation when you have a wood frame building where you can locate the studs, or it might take a little more time if what you have is a concrete infill type building where you need to drill with masonry bits. there is a range, i think, of installation time. >> since we're talking about
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costs, the cost of installation doesn't seem to be too great. do we have an idea of what the permit cost may be? >> what the permit cost would be? i would have to kick that ball. >> i'm asking because these costs are not that great. i don't want to see the permitting cost to be --. >> maybe if we could discuss --. >> physical construction. >> when these come to me regarding the bar, initially they asking no permit but i said we should have a permit because to grab a bar, you know, if you weigh 250 you may have a worse accident. then i suggest to have a no pay permit, that means they file a
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form 8 and then there's a minimum, $500 or less permit, then to go through the process because you don't need to go through planning and all those only if the building department charge a minimum charge for the permit only. you want to say something? >> as a point of information, i just asked deputy director dan lowry what he would approximate for a simple installation and he said about $250 for the cost of the permit. that's an approximate without having specifics. >> yeah, that sounds like that's more than what it could be. >> that's per closet? >> that would be for the permit, not the cost of materials or labor. >> my point is it sounds like it would cost more to pull the permit than to actually do the work.
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>> commissioner walker. >> i think -- i would suggest these are issues that we prioritize and we do what we can to limit the cost to the owners of the residential hotels as a way of encouraging them to do it. so i think that, i would feel that that would be something that would do is to limit the cost of the permit. personally. >> let me add, i just mentioned that because -- i'll let the staff decide and figure it out and make a proposal, but the whole point is that i don't want to see us implementing this and then have the permitting issue be a discouragement to the property owners. we want these people to come forward to get the permits and get it done correctly. we don't want to discourage them. i can see where the property owner would say, gee, it will cost me more
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to get a permit than it actually costs to do the work. >> i would be more than happy to work with director hue and carla and dan lowry on a standard permit fee so it's consistent with the building code fee schedule. we can definitely look at that and see what we can come up with for possibly a standard fee for a simple application, but it will depend upon the estimated cost of work, et cetera. but we can definitely look at that. i think that's a great idea. >> obviously it has to match the -- this is probably getting off track here. i know commissioner -- one of the supervisors had a signed ordinance and you got a free permit if you did something within a certain number of months, i don't know. when we do come across those difficult
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installations, obviously no fault of anybody, just the nature of the building, and it turns into a pretty monumental job just to put the simple -- let's say all the wall has to be done and so on. that 6 month period obviously is going to take longer now. i'm sure you have something built in for people who are trying to do the right thing but because it turns into a job that's more than what they first thought, that 6 months would be extended if they need it but they are trying to do the right thing. >> with respect to the code enforcement, which i believe that question addresses, if the property owner is in good faith, trying to comply, has a permit, we would not do code enforcement against that individual because that's our tip situation to give them sufficient time to be able to resolve the issues inherent with adding something retroactively to a very old building. if they have not attempted
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anything after 6 months, we are still going to be in the outreach portion of this up until that period of time. we're going to give them one last bit of encouragement to get the process started, but if in that situation nothing happened, then we might do some code enforcement. but if they are in good faith making the effort, got the permit or they are doing analysis to see how they are going to do it, that type of situation, then we are not going to write a notice of violation in that situation. >> commissioner lee has a question. >> i think that was an excellent question that commissioner lee raised and i'm sure we'll be talking about it more. i'm sure we make sure, because permits will be required, our building inspectors will inspect the plan after? >> once you pull the permit you have the building inspector to check out the grab bar
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(inaudible) or not. >> commissioners, have we any more questions? seeing none -- commissioner walker. >> is this an action item? >> this is an action item, yes. i think we have public comment first, though. madam secretary there. >> is there any public comment on item no. 5? >> good morning, commissioners, my name is josh vining, i'm an organizor with the mission street collaborative. i wanted to say thanks for taking the time to talk about these issues. they sound like very commonsense issues but once we get into the issues it becomes more complicated. i